Thanks for all those Taw Velo members that made the trip to Rock park on Sunday afternoon for the first (uncompetitive!) Match of grass bike polo in Devon.
On a wet field there were 9 willing volunteers with no experience of the non contact, contact sport of bike polo. Willing to risk their prize machines in the pursuit of fun and something a little different. After a little trial of riding a bike while swinging a wooden mallet in the rough direction of a small ball there was a quick instruction on a few rules which are an attempt to keep you out of harm’s way! Wobbly wheels are very common in the game.
Teams were divided up equally with a mixture of those who had fallen off during the quick pre match trial and those who were keen to put their mallet through someone else’s wheel (George).
Matches are usually 2 chukkas or 4 chukkas of 10 or 15 minutes. The start of each begins with a sprint. The sprint, a member of each team starts from the Goal line and on the whistle sprints as fast as he or she can to the ball on the centre spot to beat his or her opponent. This is one of the reasons why all players must play right handed.
As this was the first time for all players we had one long Chukka of about an hour and a half. Which was mainly an hour of crashing, smashing, whacking, sliding, falling off, cheating, kicking, golf, hockey and goals of course. The scoring was opened by (Chuck) and the floodgates opened and the greens became very quickly fluent at scoring. The realisation that getting the right gearing on your bike makes a huge difference. Agility not top end speed.
Everyone who gave it a try picked it up far easier than we expected and really did a very good job of mastering cycling, hitting and avoiding other bikes (all at the same time). Well done to all of you. I think there may be a few garages with an extra bike and a mallet in them before long.